Southampton – Villa; I’m sick of saying it but……

it’s yet another massive game.
And one that I think might really be a season maker or breaker, as opposed to the Spurs game.

Southampton’s home record is truly appalling and it’s the reason they are where they are in the league.
In 13 games, they’ve won only three, drawn two and lost eight according to footystats.
Actually, I’d recommend you have a glance at that site, as it makes for interesting reading.
While we have the worst record for conceding goals in the league and that’s partly the reason, we have the second highest goals per game ratio.
At least we’re entertaining if you’re a neutral fan.

Anyway, the point is that Southampton playing at home actually gives them a 19% disadvantage compared to playing away which is somewhat strange, albeit it makes sense because they’re a decent counter-attacking side.

Squad status then and the good news for us is that Mings should go straight back in defence, probably in place of Engels.

As for Southampton, Kyle Walker-Peters, Sofiane Boufal and Nathan Redmond are all unavailable.

Those Southampton home statistics give me encouragement, but we all know we’re probably the best club in the whole English game for bringing poor runs of any kind to an end for the opposition.

The fact that Southampton counter well worries me though, given our horrendous defence and it’s likelyhood in making a costly mistake at any time. Couple this with the fact that either the team or the management, or probably both don’t understand what “see the game out” means and well, I’m a lot more than worried.

Still, I was listening to radio WM on the way home from work and the question was “would you be be happy with a point?”.
And I’m really not sure I would.

I’d have been happy with a point at home to Spurs, but feel this is a game where we really ought and really need to get all three.
The problem I have is that I keep thinking that if we can’t beat these with that home record, then who can we beat?
Not that our away record is any good.

I suspect this game has something like a 2-2 draw written all over it.
But I can’t contemplate us drawing, let alone losing this one.

Hence I’m going for a 2-1 win.

If we don’t get it, I suspect I’m going to be feeling pretty downbeat tomorrow afternoon.
Meaning it might actually be fortunate in that I won’t have to witness it, because I’m working.

56 Comments

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  1. Avatar
    Hitchens60 February 22, 2020 at 7:36 am .

    Law of averages – surely we can achieve one clean sheet away from home and this would be the ideal match to achieve it. Reina must be really ticking given the (absence) of any recognisable defence in front of him.

    Oh well, dream on.

    We need nothing less than a draw so there’s equal pressure on us as there must be on Southampton who will be expected to win.

    Not even going to try and call it.

  2. Avatar
    nath February 22, 2020 at 8:15 am .

    worst home record versus second worst away record. lol should be a cracker. soton are not a bad team at all, i av watched them a few times, last game was their defeat to spuds 3 2 which they were really unlucky and they were better team for most that game. reason they are poorer at home is because they are 100% countering team. away teams mostly always sit back and counter the home side and this forces soton to play outside their comforts at home.

    interesting to hear smith explain the spurs game, he explained his reason behind the cavalier approach to defending high ( they were extremely aggressive pressing ) he said this was to limit their front four who where dangerous if they had time. tbf it almost worked forcing their front four to defend deep and track our defenders, or risk allowing their man to contribute to a villa goal or creation of a chance to score.

    back to soton if villa where to be the same cavalier to defending without the ball , getting to many men way out of the defensive shape when soton regain possession, they will exploit that, it is what they do best. also saints commit loads forward themselves, but they do this down one side. its also much faster then we attack . we are to slow and switch the ball which means more men are committed forwards. we are much too easy to counter. i can not see us getting a result today. 3 0 🙁

    fury fights wilder tonight after their controversial last encounter. fury is the better boxer and wilder is the bigger puncher with less skill. fury had his tactics spot on last fight. he only got a draw which was day light robbery. this time he claims he is gonna knock wilder out. it is very possible he can do this, but in going for the knockout himself. he will leave chances inevitably for wilder to connect himself.

    so like villa tried against spuds, we over extended ourselves to push the spuds danger men back deep inside their own half. we forced them to defend our defenders who where ridiculously high lol we had 4 to 5 players inside the box for every cross we fired in. we also had 3 more just outside the box and what defenders we had left where also inside the spuds half. death or glory lol i just never saw this tactic happening i saw that mings was out and engles in i immediately recalled the last saints game were engles was running in treacle all game. i said we will be defending deep have no choice but too.

    waffling lol 3 nil soton defeat

  3. Avatar
    beamo February 22, 2020 at 9:45 am .

    Very little margin for error now once you take out the games against the top six that we already know we’re going to bottle. Therefore, a point isnt good enough in this type of game – we simply have to win.
    As bad as Southampton have been at home, our away form is equally as poor . Zero clean sheets on the road and i don’t see that changing today. As per usual we’re likely to need at least 2- 3 goals to get a result. Hopefully Mings back in and no Drinkwater (albeit I think Dean will start with him again).

  4. Avatar
    Holte66 February 22, 2020 at 10:50 am .

    I read that Nakamba will replace Drinkwater today with the message that it is up to him to keep his place. I don’t think we will keep a clean sheet though. Long and Ings have too much quality for our defence which is why I don’t expect anything from today’s game. Like Badger said, we are the team to turn around bad fortune for the opposition. I still maintain we are too nice and nowhere near enough vocal on the pitch. Leadership wise we have Reina and Mings with Grealish developing in his role. We need more voices on the pitch IMO. McGinn when fit will bring some steel in the middle. Prediction wise I’m going 3-1 to Saints.

  5. Avatar
    Hitchens60 February 22, 2020 at 12:44 pm .

    Stats alert – as depressing as usual.

    We’re winless against Saints in 7 matches (Dec 2013 last win)
    If we fail to keep a clean sheet it will be 21 away games – worst run since 86-89 when we went 38 games (bl**dy hell hope we don’t break that record!)
    Long has scored 6 goals and another 4 assists in his last 7 starts against us – somebody kick him hard quick!

    As you say – any team needing a win or change a bad record should be queuing up to play us!

    Just have to hope they think it’s going to be so easy they don’t turn up – more likely they’ll play brilliantly and it’ll be us that fails to appear.

    Aghhh – to be a Villa fan!

  6. Avatar
    Hitchens60 February 22, 2020 at 2:05 pm .

    Villa line up as predicted with Marvellous in for Drinkwater and Mings for Engels

  7. Avatar
    Guest February 22, 2020 at 2:11 pm .

    Saints line up is weak, I’d say player for player we have a better starting eleven, I fancy something out of this game today.

    1. Avatar
      Hitchens60 February 22, 2020 at 2:45 pm .

      Except for Long / Ings?

      1. Avatar
        Guest February 22, 2020 at 3:11 pm .

        Indeed.

        Elsewhere i think they are pretty weak.

        Unfortunately they have just scored making my optimistic forecast pretty futile.

        Thanks Villa. Thanks a lot.

  8. Avatar
    nath February 22, 2020 at 3:01 pm .

    that saint team is under strength to what i expected. so villa have to take advantage of this. three points is a must, would take us three points behind them in the league.

  9. Avatar
    Hitchens60 February 22, 2020 at 3:11 pm .

    F**ing Long again and what the hell was our non defence doing.

    Another shafting coming up

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